written by Joe Ganger, 20 Nov 2000
Now that's a horse of a different color!
From the History of St. Joseph County: "One day, about eleven in the morning the collector entered the front door of E. S. Swan's store in White Pigeon, in which the young man was engaged, and who, having been warned, slipped out of the back door as the collector opened the front door. The collector hailed the fugitive, but to no use, he was apparently as deaf as a post and kept on his way, but stopped at another store a moment, when the collector sprang forward at and was eluded again. Thus, the pursuit went on for two or more hours, when the collector gave up the pursuit in disgust and returned to the stable of a friend where he had left his horse.
Here a transformation met his eyes which he could scarcely credit. His horse, which was of a bay color when he left it, was now a bright green, alternating with stripes of another color. His neck and tail, which had been adorned with long, flowing, glossy, black hair, were guiltless of anything but the stiff stubbs of the same. In short, his steed of the morning, which pawed the air and smelled the battle afar off, was a sorry nondescript, unfit for anything but a crack-brained Don Quixote to bestride.
Nevertheless, the collector made a virtue of necessity, mounted his beast and rode back, a madder if not a richer man, from when he came. Such were the expedients taken to evade the burden men felt to be as needlessly imposed, as it was onerous to bear, and the militia fell into disuse and was finally abandoned, independent companies in after years taking its place."